Freedom of the City

The Freedom of the City of London was, in the earliest times, an essential requirement for all who wished to carry on business and prosper in trade with in the Square Mile. As a result, the privileges attaching to the Freedom were eagerly sought, while the duties and obligations of freemen were faithfully observed.

The close connection between freemen and London's government can be traced back to the Saxon folkmoot and to the 'Great Concourse' of the early Norman kings. As London grew, its population, trade and craft industries expanded to such an extent that it became impossible for all freemen to be directly involved in determining the evolving structure of local government. As a result, the relationship between freemen and the government of London changed to representation through the Masters and Wardens of the Guilds and Livery companies.

The Freedom of the City has never been the prerogative of men alone. Ancient reports from Livery companies bear reference to 'Sisters', a fact which indicates that men and women were equally eligible for membership.

It remains necessary to this day for all liverymen to be freemen of the City, and it is the liverymen who elect the Lord Mayor and the Sheriffs of the Corporation of London. Although it is no longer necessary to be a freeman to work in the City, the proud history of the City of London is such that large numbers of men and women have rightly regarded it a privilege to be admitted to the Freedom of the City.

Freedom of the City of London is only granted by the City of London, which also holds an extensive archive and library of historical records.

For further information on applying for the Freedom of the City: email The Chamberlain's Court or call the Chamberlain’s Court on 020 7332 3055

When you have been admitted as a Freeman of the City of London you may apply for membership of the Guild of Freemen. If you have not yet attended your admission ceremony you can still apply to join the Guild but your membership can only be considered by the Court when your admission has been confirmed by the Chamberlain's Court.

If you are not yet a Freeman of the City of London and would like to join the Guild please email the Clerk

Our Members


Annual Banquet at Guildhall

"A veritable tour de force; stunning atmosphere, seriously impressive food and a funny judge..what’s not to like!
Well done everyone" - Mrs J.D.

"A triumph" - Mr A.W."

"..a brilliant evening at Guildhall last night. The event was spectacular and we, our guests and everyone around us enjoyed it tremendously. A great highlight of a fantastic year" - Mr J.H.

"A magnificent evening was had by all" - Mr K.B.

"It really was the most wonderful and unforgettable evening " - Mrs K.J.

"It was a great privilege to be present of Friday evening on such a splendid occasion.  What a truly stunning and memorable evening. The organisation, the pageantry and the attention to detail was remarkable. A and I enjoyed it all enormously" - C H.C.

Master's Final Dinner at Fishmongers' Hall
"Just a line to say how much we enjoyed the dinner last night, super seat thank you! Please convey our thanks to the Master for a wonderful evening, superb food and company and thank him for all his events over the past year, we have had great times.
We now look forward to the next year, different venues and events." - Mr P.B.

Reception and Supper at Grocers' Hall
"My guests and I really really enjoyed the Ceremony and the dinner at Grocers’ Hall last evening, I am still on a high with sheer pleasure, you, everyone there so kind and welcoming". Mrs A R

"It was good to meet you at last and on such an excellent evening in one of the nicest Livery Halls in the City.  Thank you for making it such a special evening for M and me.   It was so well organised and enjoyable.   The food was first class and the company good as well". Mr D B

RNLI Demonstration and Supper at the Little Ship Club
"Thank you SO much for arranging a most enjoyable evening. Once again, I was able to catch up on friends and make new acquantainces - all thanks to you for the excellent place settings.  The weather was kind to us, the food was amazing and everybody around our table was very happy with the service and the meal."  Ms V H

"Following the interesting demonstration Guild Members and their guests retired back inside the Little Ship Club for a stunning two-course supper with some excellent wine and tremendous companionship discussing the RNLI’s great work being achieved on the tidal Thames.​" Mr D K


Guild News View All News

Virtual Afternoon Tea with the Master and Lord Mayor

Published - Monday 29th June 2020

Another "first" for the Guild - our first virtual event! The Master was delighted to welcome Guild members who joined......continue reading

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The Guild Welcomes Captain Sir Tom Moore

Published - Wednesday 3rd June 2020

Captain Sir Tom Moore was welcomed as an Honorary Member of the Guild of Freemen of the City of London......continue reading

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Guild honours Captain Sir Tom Moore

Published - Monday 1st June 2020

Captain Sir Tom Moore will be admitted as an Honorary Member of the Guild of Freemen of the City of......continue reading

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